It has been quite a long time since there was an update to the plant database itself, so here it is – Data Release 22.
There is no program version update to go with it, the production program for Windows remains at version 1.6.1 and the mobile edition at 1.7. The downloadable install files now use Data Release 22, as will all newly supplied CD’s. The free web database, Plant Base Online, has also been updated to the same release level.
This update adds approximately 300 new plant records and about the same number of new pictures. This isn’t a great many considering it is over year since the last update, however more importantly it also has amendments to over 500 existing plant records. Some of the amendments are quite significant, such as changes to official plant names according the most recent botanical wisdom. For example, the well known and much loved Dicentra spectablis now becomes Lamprocapnos spectabilis. There are many others. No! – I’m not sure that I like the name changes either, but the database attempts to follow the authorised taxonomy.
It is always difficult to decide when a database release is ready to publish, much harder than a new program version. The plant data is being updated almost continuously, so there is no clear cut-off. The actual process of preparing the release always tends to create delay, because while the database files are being reviewed, it shows up ever more plant records that I would like to improve and update. However that could easily go on forever, so in the end there has to be a rather arbitrary cut-off.